When someone talks about wine culture, most of us think about how our society is influenced by the highly regarding beverage we all love so much. But to real winos, wine culture takes on a whole new meaning.
Cultured wine yeasts are widely used in both home and commercial winemaking. They have been a boon to the industry and give winemakers control over the taste and development of the wines we drink. Most wine drinkers probably aren’t even aware that winemakers choose yeasts for their wines like women choose the right shoes to match their outfits. Nor do they know the important role these microscopic transformers (a mere 8/25,000ths of an inch long) play. There are literally hundreds of cultured yeast strains available for wines. Each of them have their own distinct characteristics – just like the grape varietal they are used on – and can significantly impact the taste and style of a wine.
Andre Austin, owner of CellarWise (a winery supply store in Paso Robles) is a 15-year veteran in the industry and he knows his yeasts . He will be the featured guest speaker at the July First Crush winemaking workshop: “Yeasts & Yields,” Saturday, July 23 from 2-5 p.m. at the First Crush Wine Workshop.
Austin will talk about proper yeast re-hydration, how to select yeast strains and conduct a comparative tasting with wines made with different types of yeasts. (To read the rest of the story, follow the read more link below)
Join us for our June winemaking workshop and find out how different types of oak influence wines. Joe Farley, representative for Radoux Barrels and the winemaker for F/S Cellars joins us for Shoots & Barrels on June 25, 2011 from 1-4 p.m.
In the winery, we're going to find out what a difference a barrel can make. You'll learn how barrels are made, the characteristics of different types of oak and oak alternatives, and taste how different types of oak influence wine taste by tasting wines aged in different types of oak.
Winemaker Joe Farley is the F in FS – a family-owned winery in Paso Robles. Joe has been passionate about wine since his time at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo. Since graduating in the 80’s, Joe has worked as vineyard manager for Martin Vineyards, (formerly Martin Weyrich Winery) and assistant vineyard manager for French Camp Vineyards – one of the largest wine grape growing operations in San Luis Obispo County. He also been assistant winemaker for Martin & Weyrich, his former family-owned winery called Abby D’Or and Tobin James Winery. Joe knows that great wines begin with the nurturing of the grapes, and he oversees the whole process from “berry to bottle,” making him a perfect presenter for our June “Berry to Bottle” winemaking workshop.
Next, viticulturist Lowell Zelinski is going to take you out into the "blooming" vineyard and talk about bloom time, and what it means to both the grower and the vine, and talk about fruit set, tissue sampling, fertility decisions, early yield estimates and shoot positioning. He’s also going to tell you what a “petiole” is then show you how to collect petiole samples and why.
Reservations recommended. Call (805) 434-2772 or check availability online.
Our 2011 Wine Grape Escapes are better than ever. Every Grape Escape lets you experience wine country during our most exiting and spectacular time of year -- CRUSH! You'll get a taste of winemaking while having a fantastic time in the vineyard and the winery. You'll enjoy fabulous wine country cuisine, premium Paso Robles wines and learn about the region, its wines and how they're made from the people (growers, winemakers, and chefs) that actually make Paso Robles one of the hottest wine regions in the country.
HERE ARE SOME EXCITING NEW (& OLD) FEATURES:
1, 2 and 3-day programs with new pricing and featuresSunday Brunch & Bottle lets you bottle and take home wine that weekendAll-inclusive hotel package options are back! You can once again purchase a "complete" Grape Escape Package with discounted hotel options from four of Paso's best hotels: the Paso Robles Courtyard Marriott, the Holiday Inn Express, La Quinta and La Bellasera Inn & Suites. These are great rates that are only available from First Crush with the purchase of your Wine Grape Escape.
So....sip, crush and stomp your way into a wine lover bliss in the beautiful Paso Robles Wine Country this fall. Space is limited and early registration discounts are available so don't delay, register today!
DETAILS & AVAILABILITY
Download registration form
Come celebrate Wild West Wine Fest this weekend with the Silver Horse Gang – First Crush, Silver Horse & Tassjara Cellars. All three wineries will be circling the wagons to bring you lots of good ol’-fashioned fun. Both at the park and out at the ranch, you can kick up your heels or just kick back with good food, great wine, winemaking activities, vineyard tours, live music and barrel samples.
Be on the lookout for Jessica, Ashley and Jennifer and the Little Pony Gang pouring at the park. All three wineries will be pouring together in the Silver Horse booth located near the entrance at the corner of Pine & 11th Streets. This pretty posse and their friends will be arresting the tastebuds of the good, the bad and the ugly with our great tasting wines. But don’t get out of line, or you might just find yourself locked up in the Wine Jail. If you’re really lucky, you could get deputized.
First Crush will be introducing its 2010 Spring Fling Chardonnay and we have cowboy beads and badges for all you city slickers, country folk and local yokels. You can also get yourself a Tassajara tattoo.
If the park isn’t your scene, blaze your trail out to the Silver Horse ranch Friday, Saturday or Sunday where we’ll also be rustling up some fun. It’s a great place to kick off your wine fest with a leisurely lunch before heading to the park on Saturday or winding it down on Sunday. This weekend just also happens to be Sunday Funday, so the good times won’t end until 7 pm on Sunday. (For the rest of the story, click the read more button below...)
California wine grape growers and vintners are tallying up the damage caused earlier this month when a bitter-cold Alaskan weather front slowly moved through a large chunk of the state’s Central Coast premium wine grape growing area.
Damage is unquestionably extensive in the northern San Luis Obispo and Southern Monterey counties around Paso Robles, Calif., and north to the King City area where tender 2011 crop buds were fried from hours of mid-20 degree temperatures.
(To read full story, click Read More button below...)
Can you really tell the difference between a “brilliant” wine and a clear one? Do you know what tannins really taste like or how the different percentages of alcohol really feel like on your tongue.
If you've answered no to one or all of these questions and you'd like to be able to answer yes, join First Crush for our Pruning & Palate Building Winemaking Workshop next Saturday, March 5 at 2:00 p.m. You'll get to really see wine like the experts and taste for wine constituents such as acidity, alcohol, tannins, sugar and more. This is a great class that you don't want to miss!
This class was originally scheduled as our February winemaking workshop but due to the threat of snow, we postponed it until March 5. That's good news for those who were interested in attending but didn't get the chance to sign-up.
As always, our Winemaking Workshops also includes a viticulture session. At this one, you'll not only get to learn from our viticulturist how and why wine grapes are pruned, you actually get to see how it's done and try your hand at pruning some Silver Horse Estate Syrah.
It's going to be a great day in the vineyard and winery. And as always, we end with a wine and cheese pairing!! Yum & Fun!
$55/pp - $44/Crush Club Members
The last few weeks have heated up in the vineyard and definitely put a new spin on the 2010 vintage. The dramatic increase in local temperatures has resulted in the grapes beginning to ripen faster and faster. So now, many growers who talked of harvesting well into November, are now scrambling to get fruit in before it gets to ripe.
“It’s just a crazy year,” First Crush viticulturist Lowell Zelinski said. “Grapes that should be ripe, aren’t and some varieties that shouldn’t be ripe are already being harvested.”
Fortunately, First Crush is prepared. We still have several locations and wine grape varietals to choose from for our remaining three harvest weekends. In order to ensure that we make your wine from only premium quality Paso Robles fruit, Dr. Zelinski and the rest of our viticulture team regularly visit vineyards all throughout the Paso Robles growing region to find the best fruit to use for our Grape Escape Harvest Weekend getaways.
While there is no shortage of fun during every Grape Escape weekend, we ensure that every First Crush event is geared to help you learn about the many aspects of the dynamic and exciting winemaking industry in Paso Robles. How DO you go about finding the best fruit to make the best wines? How do you decide when a Syrah is ready to harvest versus a Cabernet Sauvignon? We hope that providing the answers to some of these questions will help to enhance your experiences with wine drinking for many years to come, even after you say farewell whichever Paso Robles we decide is fit to provide fruit for the custom wine you help make with First Crush.
By: Becky Zelinski
You can read books, attend classes and gather tidbits in the tasting room, but there’s nothing like a real “hands-on” experience to truly learn and appreciate the art and science of winemaking. Join Silver Horse (and First Crush) winemaker Stephen Kroener and First Crush viticulturist Lowell Zelinski on July 17, 2010 from 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for “Veraison and Preservation,” the First Crush Berry to Bottle July Wine Workshop.
If you’d like to learn about grape growing, winemaking, or you’re just interested in an experience that will take you beyond the tasting room, you won’t want to miss this workshop. It’s fun, fascinating and enlightening.
You’ll get to stroll through the vineyards with Lowell and see first blush of the wine grape clusters. You’ll also hear about veraison – a major turning point in wine grape production. Then go into the winery with Steve, where you’ll learn why barrel aging is so important. You’ll even get to help top some wine.
Whether you’re interested in making wine or just drinking it – our winemaking workshops have something for everyone. The workshop also includes a wine tasting and cheese pairing. $55/per person; $44 for Crush Club members. Advance registration encouraged. Register today!
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Winery/Office: 2975 Limestone WayPaso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 434-2772 Fax (805) 434-3337